With the Supreme Court clearing the decks for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is preparing to turn the holy city into the biggest religious destination for Hindus and a tourist attraction for others. A 'new Ayodhya' plan is being readied to give the ancient holy city a complete makeover.
Among other projects on the anvil, the state government plans to build a 'Ram Corridor' from the Ram Janambhoomi temple to the proposed Ram statue that will be 221 metres high including the plinth and the umbrella. "This corridor could be an elevated road that will complete the pilgrimage from Ram temple to Ram statue," said BJP MLA from Ayodhya, Ved Prakash Gupta.
Ayodhya is now a part of the AMRIT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) Yojna. The state government is preparing to develop Ayodhya and recreate the city as a temple city with modern infrastructure, renovated temples and 'maths' and hospitality services. The state government is mulling a proposal for an international airport in Ayodhya that will encourage international tourists. At least six five-star hotels and seven- three-star hotels and over 4000 'dharamshalas' are to be constructed in Ayodhya which will also have five railway over bridges at Maudaha, Darshan Nagar, Tedi Bazar, Badi Bua and another at the Parikrima route.
Roads connecting Ayodhya to Sultanpur, Basti, Prayagraj and Varanasi would be widened into six-lane for seamless traffic movement. Modern eateries and vending zones will provide cuisine and ethnic food of different Indian states to tourist. However, the district will be a totally vegetarian zone. A cruise service, a commercial airport and bus stations with modern facilities and maximum capacity of housing nearly 4000 buses, has already been finalised by the state government.
A senior official in the chief minister's secretariat said that chief minister Yogi Adityanath was taking 'keen personal interest' in the development of Ayodhya and was regularly monitoring the progress of projects. Sources said that the prestigious London-based consultancy firm, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) had prepared a blueprint for the development of Ayodhya which had even been approved by the RSS.
The state government also plans to develop historic monuments in adjoining Faizabad town which include the famous Gulab Bari and Bahu Begum ka Maqbara. "Beautification of the entire district will be ensured because we expect a massive increase in tourist traffic-both domestic and international," the legislator said. A cruise is also being planned on the Saryu River which will give tourists a panoramic view of the Ram temple, Ram corridor and Ram statue. There is also a proposal to create replicas of other famous temple like the Somnath temple, Meenakshi temple, Konark temple and Tirupati temple in Ayodhya.